Heredity isn’t just about genes that pass from parent to child. Heredity continues within our own bodies, as a single cell gives rise to trillions of cells that make up our bodies. We say we inherit genes from our ancestors—using a word that once referred to kingdoms and estates—but we inherit other things that matter as much or more to our lives, from microbes to technologies we use to make life more comfortable. We need a new definition of what heredity is and, through Carl Zimmer’s lucid exposition and storytelling, this resounding tour de force delivers it.
For a century, most physicists have followed Niels Bohr’s Copenhagen interpretation and dismissed questions about the reality underlying quantum physics as meaningless. A mishmash of solipsism and poor reasoning, Copenhagen endured, as Bohr’s students vigorously protected his legacy, and the physics community favored practical experiments over philosophical arguments. As a result, questioning the status quo long meant professional ruin. And yet, from the 1920s to today, physicists like John Bell, David Bohm, and Hugh Everett persisted in seeking the true meaning of quantum mechanics.
Who Cares about Particle Physics?: Making Sense of the Higgs Boson, the Large Hadron Collider and CERN by Pauline Gagnon
Here is a book written for every person who wishes to learn a little more about particle physics, without requiring prior scientific knowledge. It starts from the basics to build a solid understanding of current research in particle physics. A good dose of curiosity is all one will need to discover a whole world that spans from the infinitesimally small and stretches to the infinitely large, and where imminent discoveries could mark the dawn of a huge revolution in the current conception of the material world.
Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams by Matthew Walker
A New York Times bestseller and international sensation, this “stimulating and important book” (Financial Times) from the director of UC Berkeley’s Center for Human Sleep Science is a fascinating dive into the purpose and power of slumber. As the Guardian said, Walker explains “how a good night’s shut-eye can make us cleverer, more attractive, slimmer, happier, healthier, and ward off cancer.”
Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex by Mary Roach
Bestselling author Mary Roach turns her outrageous curiosity and insight on the most alluring scientific subject of all: sex. Can a person think herself to orgasm? Why doesn’t Viagra help women-or, for that matter, pandas? Can a dead man get an erection? Is vaginal orgasm a myth? Mary Roach shows us how and why sexual arousal and orgasm-two of the most complex, delightful, and amazing scientific phenomena on earth-can be so hard to achieve and what science is doing to make the bedroom a more satisfying place.
Quantum Theory: A Very Short Introduction by John Polkinghorne
This book gives a lucid, exciting, and accessible account of the surprising and counterintuitive ideas that shape our understanding of the sub-atomic world. It does not disguise the problems of interpretation that still remain unsettled 75 years after the initial discoveries. The main text makes no use of equations, but there is a Mathematical Appendix for those desiring stronger fare.
Entanglement: The Unlikely Story of How Scientists, Mathematicians, and Philosophers Proved Einstein’s Spookiest Theory by Amir D. Aczel
Can two particles become inextricably linked, so that a change in one is instantly reflected in its counterpart, even if a universe separates them? Albert Einstein’s work suggested it was possible, but it was too bizarre, and too contrary to how we then understood space and time, for him to prove. No one could. Until now. Entanglement tells the astounding story of the scientists who set out to complete Einstein’s work.